Monday, May 25, 2015

Greece is hosting the 2015 European Maritime Day (EMD).

Launched in 2008, the European Maritime Day is traditionally celebrated annually across Europe on May 20 to raise the visibility of maritime sectors and support an integrated approach to maritime affairs. The city and port of Piraeus will be at the heart of the European celebrations this year.
  • Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum
On May 26 - 27, Piraeus welcomes the 3rd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum. The two-day event provides a unique platform to evaluate new investment opportunities in the industry.  

In particular, the Cruise sessions focus on the European cruise market growth and demand. The yachting sessions will evaluate what it takes for the sector in Greece to keep up with the consistent growth at a European level. The exhibition will provide the ideal marketing platform and finally, B2B Meetings will be conducted as usual, for the first time including the European F&B Cruise Ship supply industry. In the previous edition, the event attracted 650 participants and 32 exhibitors from 25 countries.
  • Conference on the role of ports & coasts
On May 28 and 29, the city will hold a conference on the role of ports and coasts as gateways to maritime growth. Moreover, on May 30-31, Piraeus will host an exhibition and a series of public happenings at various locations, celebrating its rich maritime history and culture. Apart from its modern shipping activities, visitors will have the opportunity to explore the archaeological sites and the industrial monuments of the city. Indoor and outdoor activities include: excursions, live performances, music events, marine sports, and sailing around the coasts. Local restaurants will provide special menus with local seafood and wine.
  • Piraeus Port
Piraeus is one of the oldest ports in the Mediterranean. It reached its peak in the 5th century BC as a port of Athens and main commercial center. Piraeus port now ranks 43rd among the world’s largest and among the top 10 European. It is the first port in Europe in terms of passenger traffic (20 million annually).

The water at Europe’s beaches, rivers and lakes was generally of high quality in 2014, with 95 % of these sites meeting minimum requirements according to the annual bathing water quality report published on May 20 by the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission. Greece came in 4th with high proportion of sites with excellent bathing water quality (97%) after Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.

In Greece, a total of 1540 bathing waters have been reported – 7.2% of all bathing waters in Europe. Out of all bathing waters in Greece, 1.43% have been newly identified in the 2014 season. 99.8% of bathing waters in Greece are of coastal type; the other are inland (two bathing waters). Furthermore, 9340 samples were taken at bathing waters throughout the season – 6 per bathing water on average. Alongside the report, the EEA has published an interactive map showing the performance of each bathing site.

The local authorities – the Special Secretariat for Water at the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change - collect and monitor samples at local beaches during the bathing season. Waters can be classified as "excellent," "good," "sufficient" and "poor quality." These classifications are based on the levels of two types of bacteria which indicate pollution caused by waste-water or livestock waste. These bacteria can cause illnesses, such as vomiting or diarrhea, in the case of ingestion.

The city of Thessaloniki hosted a three-day event (May 22-24) celebrating and promoting the use of foreign languages, either well known or less spoken. In its third edition, the  Multilingualism Festival invited foreign consulates, cultural institutes and Erasmus students to join in, while sending out a message of friendship, understanding and tolerance.

On behalf of Greece, the festival welcomed the contribution of Foreign Literature Departments of Greek universities, as well as public entities which come into contact with non-Greek speakers, such as the city’s immigration bureau.

Yorgos Lanthimos has won the Jury Prize for The Lobster in the 68th Festival de Cannes, adding a second Cannes prize next to Un Certain Regard Prize for the Dogtooth in 2009.

"You always try to do something different in a film, which makes it hard to achieve unanimous approval. So to win an award is extraordinary." Lanthimos said at a press conference.

Starring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C.Reilly and Lea Seydoux, the film is set in dystopian future, where single people are forced to mate in a facility, called the Hotel, within 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into the animal of their choice and are released in the woods.

See also: Awards Full List here & Greek News Agenda: Lanthimos’ Lobster Competing for the Palme d’Or